Anna „Mirosava” Bachanek
The exhibition showcases the work of uncompromising outsiders: cult figures and unknowns, with academic credentials and without, lone wolves and underground scenesters. The common ground in all their works is a grassroots confrontation with political and aesthetic systems, the breaking of social taboos, creation in a DIY spirit, and a certain nonchalance. The starting point of the exhibition is the work of critical artists operating outside of institutional settings which were presented in the exhibition “Why We Have Wars” at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in spring 2016. This Silesian continuation takes a look at the art of protest and the figure of the outsider through the lens of the ethos of alternative culture.
Although alternative culture experienced its glory days in the 1980s, by the end of the following decade it had ceased to exist as a strong cultural force, blending and fading into a virtual reality. Many of its key figures, however, didn’t stop creating – today, the Last Mohicans of the offbeat are outsiders, unassociated with any particular circles, amateurs. Thus, the exhibition has been designed to be non-hierarchical, and to not take its cue from the art of the mainstream, but rather tell the story of an unknown alternative. Simultaneously, it defines a new space for radical independent artists whose work does not fit within the confines of institutionalised critical art, or within the patronising and inadequate framework of naïve or non-professional art.
The exhibition features new works, and works which have become relevant again. Although they may have been created years apart, the extent to which they return to the same problems and fears is striking. The exhibition is opened by the section entitled “Poland’s Burning” concerning political conflict. War – a key term in the punk culture of the 80s – returns in force in the section entitled “Sava Putin Sava”. The manipulation of the mass media and pop culture are exposed in “Amy Winehouse is Dead”, while “We Want Porno, Not ORMO” [trans. note: ORMO, the much-hated volunteer militia in Communist times] lays bare the pressures associated with the body and identity, and presents a manifesto of individualism in style. The section entitled “Poles! Onward to Dharma!” focuses on artists who resist the contemporary crisis of spirituality.
The title of the exhibition is taken from a play by Łukasz Wojtysko entitled “VV. I’m No Longer a Dog”, a dramatic work whose main theme is freedom, and which has been an inspiration for Radosław Perlak. “I don’t wanna be your dog” – these are the words of Radosław Perlak, an artist incarcerated in the Correctional Facility at Rawicz, with which he described the change which came over his life after he began creative work. This same need for emancipation from the cynicism and violence of authority and society was at the foundation of the birth of the counterculture more than 50 years ago. Today, the world is once again shaking at its core, and the alternative in the times of postfacts has once again become a battleground in the struggle for freedom and authenticity.
Opening: 31.03.2017, 6:00 pm
Exhibition duration: 1.04—10.09.2017
Silesian Muzeum in Katowice
T. Dobrowolskiego 1
Exhibition curators: Zofia Czartoryska, Katarzyna Karwańska
Collaboration: Non-Professional Art Department – Sonia Wilk, Katarzyna Kościelny
Organisational coordinators: Urszula Mikoś, Łukasz Adamski
Scenography: Zbigniew Libera
Technical design for scenography: Wojciech Skrzypiec
Titles graphics for exhibition: Rafał Bujnowski
Graphic design: Wojciech Bednarski
Content-related consultations: Paweł Dunin-Wąsowicz, Iga Winczakiewicz, Xawery Stańczyk
Website coordinator: Krzysztofa Frankowska-Piechowicz
We would like to help the following persons for assistance and collaboration: Paweł Dunin-Wąsowicz, Małgorzata Szaefer, Robert Jarosz, Xawery Stańczyk, Iga Winczakiewicz, Łukasz Ronduda, Łukasz Stworzewicz, Karol Radziszewski, Grażyna Filipiak-Perlak, Irma Sówka, Daniel Rycharski, Mariola Przyjemska, Małgorzata Rel, Ewa Małas, Dominika “Nika” Domczyk, Janusz Waluszko, Jacek Markiewicz, Michał Lutostański, Jemiołka Izerska, Szymon Holcman, Anna Dudziak, Iwona Rawinis, Wojciech Dziamski, Barbara Hamilton, Post Regiment.
The exhibition is open to adults. Children can be present at the premises upon parental consent and under adult supervision.